Massachusetts

Sports Betting in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts first stepped into the legalized betting arena in 1934 with the introduction of parimutuel betting on horse racing.  As time went by, simulcasting was legalized as well. Today, the state has a thoroughbred track at Suffolk Downs and a harness track at Plainridge Park.  The current Massachusetts State Lottery began in 1972 and today has a fairly standard selection of games including draw games (with Powerball and Mega Millions), Keno Games, Instant (scratch off) games.  There has been some movement toward offering online games but as of yet nothing has been made available.

Beginning in 2007, a series of bills to authorize casino gambling were introduce.  One made it to the desk of then Governor Deval Patrick who refused to sign it on the pretext that he didn’t buy the employment and revenue numbers offered by casino backers.  A casino bill did pass in 2011 allowing for three casinos and one slot parlor. The slot parlor is at the aforementioned Plainridge Park harness track. The first two licenses were awarded to the Hard Rock Casinos group and MGM Resorts International in 2013.  The first casino to open was the MGM Springfield that debuted in late August 2018. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has planned to build a casino for several years but has been caught up in legal wrangling regarding the status of their land claims.

As of September 2018, nothing concrete has been offered in regards to sports betting in the Bay State. 

Sports Betting in Boston

Boston has a fair number of gambling options today but there are even more coming on the horizon.  The first legal betting in Massachusetts was parimutuel wagering on horse racing. As time went by, simulcasting was legalized as well.  Today, the state has a thoroughbred track at Suffolk Downs and a harness track at Plainridge Park both of which are in the Boston area. The current Massachusetts State Lottery began in 1972 and today has a fairly standard selection of games including draw games (with Powerball and Mega Millions), Keno Games, Instant (scratch off) games.  There has been some movement toward offering online games but as of yet nothing has been made available.

Beginning in 2007, a series of bills to authorize casino gambling were introduced.  One made it to the desk of then Governor Deval Patrick who refused to sign it on the pretext that he didn’t buy the employment and revenue numbers offered by casino backers.  A casino bill did pass in 2011 allowing for three casinos and one slot parlor. For Boston gamblers, the ‘big boom’ will come in June 2019 which is the scheduled opening date of the Encore Boston Harbor.  The project is still owned by Wynn Resorts even though its namesake—Steve Wynn—is no longer involved.

The slot parlor is also in the Boston area at the aforementioned Plainridge Park harness track.  The first two gaming licenses were awarded to the Hard Rock Casinos group and MGM Resorts International in 2013.  The first casino to open was the MGM Springfield that debuted in late August 2018. As of September 2018, nothing concrete has been offered in regards to sports betting in the Bay State.  There have been some preliminary discussions at the legislative level but nothing more.

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